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Government mulling stricter water rationing as drought persists

Government mulling stricter water rationing as drought persists

Taipei, March 4 (CNA) The government is expected to impose second-phase water rationing measures soon, and third-phase rationing may be introduced in May as Taiwan tries to cope with its worst drought in 10 years, the Water Resources Agency (WRA) said Wednesday. It said the Central Disaster Prevention and Response Council was scheduled to meet later in the day to decide on the extent of the water conservation measures, which may include a mandatory 10 percent reduction of supply if the drought persists.. The meeting is likely to decide on a further reduction of supply to industrial consumers, from the current 5 percent to around 7.5 percent, to avoid implementing third-phase rationing earlier than planned, according to a WRA official. In Taiwan, first-phase water rationing means reduced water pressure at night, while second-phase means the water supply is restricted to consumers who usually use more than 1,000 cubic meters per month, and third-phase cuts the water supply to entire areas on a rotating basis. The government had set a goal of avoiding third-phase water rationing until at least the end of May but in view of the scant rainfall in the country, there is uncertainty about whether that plan could be sustained, the official said. It is a huge challenge to maintain the current water supply from Shihmen Reservoir (????) in Taoyuan County, the official said. This means that the areas supplied by Shihmen Reservoir will be among the first to experience third-phase water rationing, the official said, adding that a decision will be made at another meeting next week. On Feb. 26, water supply to industrial consumers was reduced by 5 percent, in Taiwan's second-phase water rationing. Meanwhile, for non-industrial users in some areas that consume more than 1,000 cubic meter of waters per month, water supply was cut by 20 percent.
On Wednesday, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fu (???) said during an inspection of Shigang Dam (????) in Taichung that the government will do its best to avoid third-phase water rationing before late May. (By Huang Chiao-wen, Sophia Chen and Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-09-20 09:35 GMT+08:00